A strengths-based culture that all employees respect is only successful if senior leaders articulate how strengths fit into the organization’s purpose and performance objectives. Gallup’s new book — Culture Shock — brings organizational culture as the biggest leadership challenge of our time.
According to a recent study where Gallup analysts collected data from 11,441 teams across six industries, teams where 90% or more knew their strengths had the best outcomes. In other words, a team’s awareness of its strengths is a better indicator of engagement and performance than the specific composition of the strengths.
Other analysis of 103 studies in 11 industries, 111 countries and across 20,021 teams revealed that groups receiving strengths interventions achieved substantially higher sales, profit, customer engagement and employee engagement and lower turnover.
Researcher Jim Harter, Ph.D. and Chief Scientist, Workplace for Gallup, highlights the importance of the diversity of strengths as an advantage for organizations and humans — as long as leaders and the workforce understand and apply them. Therefore, he pointed out the following steps to start integrating strengths into one company’s culture:
Encourage every employee to discover their strengths
“Strengths measurement provides teams with a common language to talk about how they can collaborate and perform effectively. Awareness is just the beginning — a strengths-based measurement approach is designed primarily to improve constructive communication and development.”
Integrate strengths into performance management
“Your managers will become strengths-based performance coaches for their teams. This means they must first understand their own strengths and how to use them. Next, they need to understand their employees’ strengths to have effective ongoing conversations that lead to performance and competency development. Ultimately, your highest performance will come when team members know each other’s strengths.”
Build a systematic approach to ensuring all employees are in roles that fit their innate talents
“The role of manager is the most important to get right to build a strengths-based culture. Everyone in your organization has a different work-life situation. You need well-positioned managers to coach each person they manage by establishing clear goals, having ongoing meaningful conversations and providing accountability.”